Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, March 02, 2015

orchid bright

I love the mix of orange and pink in this beautiful flower.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

beach walk

I headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge today in the hopes of satisfying my need for a walk on the beach.

There is still a lot of snow on the ground, too much depth to traverse without snowshoes or skis. Given that I was hoping to walk for a while on the beach I crossed my fingers and didn't bring my snowshoes - I simply took a chance and headed east.

The road in the refuge was cleared to a point a few miles in, barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass. I stopped at the (partially plowed) parking area for the second boardwalk and looked at what appeared to be deep snow leading to the boardwalk. Just as I popped out of the car I saw two people headed down through the snow. They told me that the snow between the parking area and the boardwalk was tramped down to a pretty solid surface and that the boardwalk was clear. Awesome!

Given the amount of snow that we've had over the last month I was surprised to find not a bit of white on the boardwalk. The snow was always light and fluffy; perhaps the wind cleared the boardwalk.

snow, stamped into a trail of sorts         a clear surface on the boardwalk

I reached the beach to find pure magic.

It was mid-tide, with the tide heading out. There were long pools of water between the snow and the ocean, sandwiched with broad bands of sand. There were places where I could step across the pools of water so I was able to wander from ocean to the snow.

sand, water, snow... at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

More photos from this afternoon's beach walk can be viewed in the gallery Parker River and... 2015 starting with this photo and ending here.

bugs!

Funny... I was focused on the center of this tiny flower and I never saw the bugs.

When I opened the photo on my computer I had to look twice; I thought I was seeing things. Nope, there are bugs walking on the petals of this flower. There are so many of them I am having a hard time believing that I didn't notice them in real life.

flowers and bugs!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

camellia Saturday

The early morning temperature was quite cold, cold enough to convince me that a visit to the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate would be a good way to start my day. The camellias were just starting to bloom when I was there three weeks ago; more were showing color today.

I wandered from greenhouse to greenhouse, stopping as flowers large and small caught my eye, absorbing color and beauty.

camellia reaching

More photos from today's greenhouse visit can be seen in the gallery greenhouses of Lyman Estate - 2015 starting with this photo and ending here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

reflections

Reflections in nature, reflections in thought...

As I look back over the past month I see a quiet existence and I see a lot of snow. My wandering with a camera has been focused more on indoor spaces, and my (almost) daily outside walking has been limited at times by the conditions under my feet.

It remains cold, and we've made it through two predicted snowfalls that were less then expected, almost minimal. It seems that the snow depth is less. I thought that was my imagination until I read David Epstein's article When Will We See Bare Ground And Have We Really Had 100 Inches Of Snow? earlier this week. He presented sublimation as part of the reason for the shrinking snow depth.

"You might not realize it but snow, which is a solid, can change phases and become a gas, or disappear without ever becoming a liquid. The process, called sublimation, occurs when any solid object goes directly into a gas. Things like mothballs and dry ice can also sublimate over time. The ice cubes in your freezer sublimate, this is why they shrink in the tray. The snow on the ground is sublimating and therefore the depth is decreasing."

quote courtesy of David Epstein's article in the Boston Globe

I hope that as we move closer to spring that new snow comes less often and with less depth. I look forward to more comfortable walking outside, walking without the worry of ice underfoot.

Now it's time to think about changing seasons, about wanders close to home and far away.

reflecting clouds
at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

a splash of pink

The ground outside is covered with white, snow sticking around as the temperature continues to dip low.

I think it will be a while before spring's color emerges this year. Last year my first crocus photo was taken on April 1st; I hope that this year's flowers aren't much later than that. For now I'll need to continue to visit indoor gardens for a splash of color.

a splash of pink
from the point where flowers emerge from leaves, Queen's tears

Monday, February 23, 2015

obstructed

A front door is often the welcoming point to a house.

In this season of deep and drifted snow the path to many front doors is obstructed with waves of white replacing the walkway.

obstructed

Sunday, February 22, 2015

stop!

An open letter to the weather wizard...

First, let me say thank you for only dropping a couple of inches of snow on us last night.

You have gifted us with a number of storms over the last several weeks, several dropping large amounts of snow. This all started with a storm tagged as a blizzard on January 27th, and it continued with major snowstorms on at least a weekly basis. Boston is approaching its snowiest winter on record; the record of 107.6 inches was set in the winter of 1995-1996, and so far this year the snow in Boston has been measured at 99.9 inches.

There is a lot of snow on the ground now - don't you think it's enough? Oh, you're right, perhaps one more smallish storm is in order to help Boston tag this season as snowiest ever.

Really, it's OK to stop now. I know spring is still weeks away and I'm not asking for warmth. A little bit of melting and a lot less snow would make me very happy.

What do you think weather wizard? Can you stop now?

stop sign buried, during the very snowy winter of 2015

gear review :: Lowepro Inverse 200 AW

When I wander with my camera I am usually very happy with my f-stop backpack but as I walk near home during this very snowy and slippery winter I've felt the need for something smaller. Somehow shrugging out of a backpack when I'm wearing layers and layers to promote warm walking isn't as quick (or natural) a movement as it is in warmer times, and the size of a full pack isn't really warranted when I am only carrying a camera and single lens.

Knowing that I'm not happy with weight hanging from a single shoulder and thinking that even a sling bag wouldn't be ideal I started looking for something else. I love that the belt on my backpack pulls much of the weight into my hips; that led me to explore the availability of belt packs.

I found (and ordered) a Lowepro Inverse 200 AW.

A word of warning: this pack sells on the Lowepro site for almost twice the price of the same pack on sites like Amazon and B&H Photo. I'd recommend buying this from a site other then the manufacturer's.

There are two sizes available, the Lowepro Inverse 100 AW, and the Inverse 200 AW. While I was leaning toward the smaller of the two I'm glad I listened to the little voice in the back of my mind telling me it would be too small. The Inverse 200 AW fits my Canon 7D with lens attached with no problem.

I have to admit that I was concerned about having the weight of a dSLR strapped around my waist. I ordered it anyway and now that I've had a chance to use it I'm happy that I did.

The magic of this bag is the combination of a wide and very padded belt with compression straps that pull the contents in closer to the belt. This makes it quite comfortable to wear, easily absorbing the weight of the camera. The main compartment opens easily with a single pull of a strap on the top, and the bag also has an integrated rain cover.

The addition of the Lowepro Inverse 200 AW to my camera carrying bags gives me another option for simpler wanders. It's always good to have a carrying choice that matches my selected activity level.



Saturday, February 21, 2015

winter trees

The thermometer read zero when I got up this morning, brr! Luckily after dropping another degree to -1 it changed directions and warmed up into the 20s, supporting a long afternoon walk.

As I finished my walk snow started.

trees stand tall, decorating a winter landscape